A Guide to the History of Dallas, Texas

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Timelines of Events in Dallas History: 1930s


n.d.: 45,507-seat Cotton Bowl stadium constructed at Fair Park; old wooden football stands razed.

January: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker meet for the first time in West Dallas.

Jan. 7: Park Board approves plans for the development of White Rock Lake as a public park, complete with sand bathing beach and a bathhouse on the eastern shore of the lake.

March 6: Former President Calvin Coolidge make a brief stop in Dallas.

Aug. 9: Mayor Tate attends opening of Bath House and Bathing Beach on White Rock Lake's eastern shore. Streetcar line extended to western shore, where fleet of speedboats is available to transport swimmers from new municipal boathouse to new bathing beach.


n.d.: New City Manager form of government inaugurated with Mayor and eight city council members. First City Manager is John N. Edy.

February: Communist A. D. Boone fined $25 for obstructing the sidewalk at a meeting held on City Hall steps. A charge against Socialist lawyer George Clifton Edwards for interfering with an officer is dropped.

March: Socialist lawyer George Clifton Edwards and two Communist clients are kidnapped and the Communists flogged by persons unknown.

June: Famed aviatrix Amelia Earheart stops over in Dallas while flying an autogiro across country.


March 20: Bonnie Parker leaves home in Dallas to begin a life of crime with Clyde Barrow.

March 25: While Bonnie is in jail in Kaufman, Clyde robs the Simms Oil Company in West Dallas.

July 28: Barrow gang robs Interurban ticket office at Grand Prairie, a Dallas area community.

Aug. 1: Clyde Barrow and Raymond Hamilton rob the Neuhoff Brothers Packing Company in Dallas.


n.d.: Course of Elm Fork of Trinity River moved west; levees built for flood control.

Jan. 6: Clyde Barrow allegedly kills Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis in West Dallas.

Spring: Socialist lawyer George Clifton Edwards runs for place 7 on the Dallas City Council. J. D. Sayers is the Socialist candidate for Mayor.

April 29: The Dallas Morning News reports that Bonnie and Clyde have been spotted in several places in the Dallas area.

Jan. 25: Raymond Hamilton, 19-year-old accomplice of Clyde Barrow, is sentenced to prison for his role in Neuhoff and one other robbery. (Barrow later helps Hamilton escape from prison.)

July 31: Buck Barrow, Clyde's older brother, is buried at West Dallas Cemetery. Buck was killed in a shoot-out with lawmen in Iowa, during which Bonnie and Clyde escaped and Buck's wife Blanche was wounded and taken into custody.

Fall: Annual fair is dubbed the "Recovery Fair." Beer sold for the first time since 1920.

Nov. 22: In a hail of gunfire, Bonnie and Clyde avoid capture in a trap laid for them by Dallas County Sheriff Smoot Schmid.

December: Trial of Toy Wooley, for murdering his wife, captures Dallasites' attention. Wooley is acquitted.


n.d.: State Fish Hatchery at Fair Park closes to make way for new racetrack.

Jan. 10: While "stunting" over White Rock Lake, a small private airplane crashes into the water near Garland Road and East Lawther Drive, killing the pilot and two passengers, and narrowly missing fishermen.

Feb. 27: Lancaster bank robbed in southern Dallas County; Clyde Barrow and Raymond Hamilton believed to have done the job.

April 1: Two motorcycle policemen killed at Grapevine, Texas (a Dallas area community) allegedly by the Barrow gang.

May: Secretary of Agriculture and future Vice-President Henry A. Wallace visits John Carpenter's Ranch on Northwest Highway.

May 21: Billie White (Bonnie Parker's sister) and Floyd Hamilton charged in Fort Worth with the April 1 killing of motorcycle policemen at Grapevine.

May 23: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow killed in a police ambush near Gibsland, Louisiana.

May 24: Bodies of Bonnie and Clyde lay "in state" at two different funeral homes in Dallas (Bonnie at McKamy-Campbell Funeral Home on Forest Avenue and Clyde at old Belo Mansion on Ross Avenue).

May 25: Clyde Barrow funeral held.

May 26: Bonnie Parker funeral held.

Summer: A covered dance pavilion, costing more than $5,000, is erected near the White Rock bathing beach, where Babe Lowry and her "Rhythm Sweethearts," an all-girl band, entertain lake visitors nightly except Sundays when they perform a two-hour afternoon concert.

Oct. 6-27: Last year of horse racing at Fair Park; betting allowed for first time in 25 years.


n.d.: City discontinues use of the "Pea Patch," a prison farm located on western shore of White Rock Lake, where non-violent offenders worked off fines at a rate of $1 per day by picking up litter along lake shore and cutting weeds.

n.d.: White Rock Lake Fish Hatchery conveyed to Texas Game, Fish and Oyster Commission in exchange for fish hatchery at Fair Park.

n.d.: An automobile, fitted with an "electrolytic carburetor" invented by Charles Garrett and his father Henry "Dad" Garrett, is filmed by Pathé News being fueled with water from White Rock Lake.

February: Trial of several members of Parker and Barrow families for harboring criminals.

June 19: Work commences on Texas Centennial Exposition; no State Fair this year.

Aug. 8: A Civilian Conservation Corps camp established at White Rock Lake Park. Over the next seven years, CCC workers plant trees and build a variety of permanent improvements around the lake.

Oct. 2: At Fair Park, Dallas Morning News Alamo replica razed.

Oct. 7: First federal WPA project in Dallas commences.

Oct. 12: Governor Allred breaks ground for new Texas Hall of State by pushing a switch that sets off a dynamite blast.

November: Secretary of Agriculture and future Vice-President Henry A. Wallace visits Dallas, speaks at SMU's McFarlin Hall.


n.d.: City Park Board recovers use of White Rock Lake Fish Hatchery from State in exchange for $1,454 and "accumulated salvage pipe for state use in constructing a new hatchery at Lake Dallas."

Feb. 12: Old Fair Park main gatehouse (built 1904), torn down.

June 1: Museum of Fine Arts in new civic tract at Fair Park formally dedicated.

June 6: Opening day of the Texas Centennial Exposition.

June 12: President Franklin D. Roosevelt and wife Eleanor visit Centennial Exposition, where FDR delivers a nationally-broadcast radio address at the Cotton Bowl; afterward, the President unveils an equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee at Oak Lawn (now Lee) Park.

Sept. 6: Texas Hall of State dedicated and opened to public for first time.

Sept. 13: Motion picture "The Big Show," starring Gene Autry, begins filming at Centennial Exposition, finishes in two weeks.

Sept. 19: Gene Autry participates in Cavalcade of Texas as part of filming for "The Big Show."

Sept. 28: FBI director J. Edgar Hoover visits Centennial Exposition.

Nov. 29: Last day of Centennial Exposition.


n.d.: A group of Dallas businessmen form the elite Citizens Council.

June 12: Famed physicist Albert Einstein pushes a button in his New Jersey home, turning on lights for opening day of the Greater Texas and Pan American Exposition held at Fair Park.

Sept. 15: First major desilting of White Rock Lake commences using a $31,973 dredge named the "Joe E. Lawther." Over the next three and a half years in excess of 500,000 tons of sediment will be removed and 90 acres of land reclaimed.

Oct. 31: Last day of the Greater Texas and Pan American Exposition.

Nov. 17: After springing leaks, White Rock Lake dredge boat, the "Joe E. Lawther," sinks in six feet of water at Dixon's Branch.


n.d.: Oil magnate H. L. Hunt purchases Mount Vernon, an estate on White Rock Lake's western shore that resembles George Washington's Virginia home.

n.d.: Famed female golfer "Babe" Didrickson plays in "Fair-Way" miniature golf tournament.

Oct. 8: Founders Statue dedicated at State Fair "Golden Jubilee."


n.d.: Fire breaks out in six-story North Texas Building, killing one and causing major damage.

n.d.: Geophysicist Everett L. DeGolyer builds Rancho Encinal on White Rock Lake's eastern shore (site of today's Dallas Arboretum).

July: City of Dallas orders demolition of eleven White Rock Lake private fishing shacks.

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